With a field of 24 candidates and still more than a year before the party’s national convention, the question of who will be at the top of the Democratic ticket on Election Day 2020 is far from decided.
Polls continue to give former Vice President Joe Biden (D-Pa.) the lead. A CBS Battleground Tracker survey that allowed respondents to select multiple candidates placed Biden’s support at 55 percent.
The poll looked at 18 states that will influence the Democratic contest through Super Tuesday, including the bellwether states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
The CBS study translated vote choice into delegates — which showed Biden having the edge necessary to lock up the nomination at next year’s national convention.
CBS also found that 78 percent of Democrats want a nominee who demonstrates a potential to defeat President Trump in the general election. This preference works in Biden’s favor, as 75 percent of those considering Biden believe he would beat the president — a higher number than those supporting other candidates.
According to the data, “electability” is a high priority for Democratic voters. For 74 percent of respondents, being “electable” means being well-known in national politics.
Again, Biden benefits. Eighty-six percent of Democrats who said they’re considering Biden pointed to his time as vice president as the reason for their support. In contrast, only 57 percent cited his policy stances.
While the landscape currently appears to favor Biden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is making an unexpected rise. The outspoken progressive has taken the #2 spot from Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in several polls, including those for Nevada, South Carolina, and California.
Most alarmingly for the Biden camp, a Change Research poll conducted from June 8-12 showed Warren ahead of the former vice president in Minnesota.
The survey, which did not disclose its margin of error, gave Warren a one-point lead over Biden, 21-20. Sanders came in third at 19 percent, followed by Amy Klobuchar (16 percent), Pete Buttigieg (11 percent), Kamala Harris (4 percent), and Andrew Yang (2 percent), with all other candidates at less than 1 percent.
Warren, like Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, has tapped into the progressive wing of the Democratic party, whereas Biden has positioned himself as the moderate, middle-of-the-road candidate.
The top five in the CBS poll were Biden (55 percent), Warren (49 percent), Harris (45 percent), Sanders (43 percent), and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (32 percent).
When respondents were asked to select their first choice, Biden’s lead grew, with support at 31 percent versus 17 percent for Elizabeth Warren, followed by Sanders (16 percent), Harris (10 percent), and Buttigieg (8 percent).
A Fox News poll released Sunday shows Biden and four other Democrats leading President Trump in a general election match-up.
The study gave Biden a 10-point lead over the president, 49 to 39 percent. At 49 percent to 40 percent, Bernie Sanders held a similar advantage. Warren, Harris, and Buttigieg were also ahead of President Trump, albeit by one- or two-point leads, which were within the poll’s margin of error.
It’s still early in the race, allowing time for candidates’ support to shift drastically. Moreover, this isn’t the first time the polls have given Democrat contenders a double-digit lead over President Trump.
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